We are ushering a new decade, which means it is a great time to reflect on the past while preparing for the future! It is easy to move on to the next goal, intention or resolution; however, I encourage all of you to take the time to remember, honor and celebrate what you have already achieved – in the last 10 years. Yes, you read that correctly – the last 10 years!
What 100 Things Have You Accomplished in the Last 10 Years?
Why 10 years? This decade stretching coaching exercise is designed to tap into your memory banks while providing a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. Investing time and effort into this process will also strengthen your motivation and confidence. This can be especially important for high-achieving individuals who feel like they are getting older and are interested in or working towards a life transition or transformation. Achievers tend to move quickly and overlook what they have accomplished. This exercise was intentionally designed as a slow, yet insightful, process that helps us see how much we have grown and changed over the course of a decade.
The first few may or may not come easily to you. Expect the process to get a little more challenging as you add more accomplishments. Ten years goes by quickly, and we tend to forget all we have experienced and achieved. If you get stuck, refer to your planner, calendar and pictures for ideas. Use your social media accounts, colleagues and friends to trigger your memories. Think back to fun times and feelings of joy. And, think broadly! This is not an exercise focused only on work or career. Think about the whole of your life as you go through this exercise. Below are a few thinking prompts:
How did you invest in yourself?
Where were you, and what were you doing, 10 years ago?
Where are you, and what are you doing, now?
What experiences did you enjoy?
Did you have a child(ren) or grandchild(ren)?
Did you try a new hair color?
What type of physical exercise did you try or grow?
Did you write your first blog post or record a podcast?
What romantic encounters did you experience?
What vacations did you experience?
What classes did you take?
What hobbies did you develop?
How did you volunteer or freely contribute your talents?
What did you do for exercise or self-care?
Stretch your thinking and have some fun with this exercise. You may just surprise yourself! Download the 100 Things I Have Accomplished in the Last 10 Years Coaching Tool below by clicking on either the text or the 100 graphic. Make the time to complete the list, and then let us know all about the 100 accomplishments you have achieved in the comment section below. We look forward to hearing from you!
The end of the year – and in this case the beginning of a new decade – is a great time to take stock of where you have been and where you want to go!
Milestones in time create the ideal moments to clear the challenges of the past, celebrate our wonderful memories and launch our dreams. Listen to your internal compass. Maybe you have been feeling stuck or have an internal knowing that it is time to do something different. If so, it is time to give yourself permission to consciously create and pursue the future you truly desire.
One of the first lessons we cover in F * School is giving ourselves permission to do whatever we truly want to experience, try or pursue on the path to our preferred future – the future we truly desire.
I have noticed the need to “give permission” in both individuals and in organizations, so I created a lesson to address this need. Many people tend to keep themselves mentally stuck or wait for someone else to give them permission to move forward with an idea, project or vacation (Yes-sometimes leaders really struggle with taking time off to recharge and renew).
I have been guilty of choosing to stay stuck at times. My amazing executive coach, Elise Auxier, pointed this out to me as I transitioned from my job to my business. Instead of waiting for some external person or force to give me permission to leave a long-time career that was no longer serving me, I had to take ownership of my life and do it myself. It took a series of bold, baby steps. And, it took a lot of support. Ultimately, I had to be the one to take action. I gave myself permission every step of the way. Was it always easy? No. Has it been totally worth it? Yes!
The process of giving yourself permission to move forward with your dreams and desires can be especially important if you are going through a time of change or transformation. I used the Permission Slip several times to help with my midlife metamorphosis. It took me a year to leave the place I had been at for twenty-five years. As a mentioned earlier, it was a process of bold, baby steps. It has taken some time; however, I am finally emerging as the person I have always wanted to truly become.
Give yourself permission to take steps forward, no matter how big or small, to experience your dreams and desires. Don’t choose to pursue what I call the Purposeless Future.
The Purposeless Future
Too many people keep their desires inside of them. They pursue what I call the Purposeless Future. This is the future that “just happens” because people opt to stay on the hamster wheel of life rather than taking the time to develop and pursue a purposeful future that they truly desire.
The future is not a straight path forward. Rather, there are many alternative futures. In the world of strategic foresight (futuring), we us a tool called the Cone of Possibilities to help people understand this concept. In the cone, there are multiple futures that can be described as:
Preferred: The desired future we choose to pursue
Possible: The wide range of events and possibilities over the course of time
Plausible: Futures that are possible but unlikely
Probable: Events and future scenarios that are likely to happen
Purposeless: The future that occurs without conscious intention
There are also two key assumptions about the future:
There are multiple futures. It is important to clarify your preferred future through a visioning process; however, you must also be willing to change course when necessary. Remember, life is not simply about achieving in the future — it is also about enjoying the present.
You influence the future through your true intent. Once you establish your preferred future, you must develop the beliefs, behaviors, mindset and actions to make it happen. If you do not truly believe in your preferred future, you will not consciously or subconsciously pursue it with true intent.
The Power of Honest Intentions
Our honest intentions are naturally supported by our beliefs and actions; therefore, all true intent is realized. Intentions become the outcome — they become your future. Your intentions serve as motivation and the source of actions and behaviors. Setting and pursuing false intentions can lead to a lack of interest and motivation, which typically ends in feelings of failure and self-doubt. Feelings of failure and self-doubt can seriously erode confidence and our sense of self-empowerment and success. Be genuine about your desired future and your intent to pursue it. If you honestly and consciously establish your true intentions, your beliefs, behaviors and mindset will align to create the outcome.
Dealing with Wild Cards
Sometimes, we experience Wild Cards — those unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that can impact our present and future. We might lose a job or have an unexpected health emergency. We might inherit a large sum of money or land a big client.
Wild Cards are a part of life, and we have to learn to deal with what comes our way.
Life is Not a Straight Line
There is no straight line to any future. As leaders of our own lives, it is important to take risks, learn from the challenges and celebrate the successes. Our preferred futures may ultimately look and feel a little different than we imagined; however, they may be even better than what our minds are capable of creating!
The Pace of Change
Wild Cards are unpredictable, unexpected and unforeseen happenings that we must deal with throughout the course of our lives; however, we are also living in a time of unprecedented change. Not only is technology evolving faster than ever – life is too. We are living longer and experiencing careers and families differently than ever before. We also feel like we need to always be “on” as we are constantly bombarded with the demands of life. This is especially true for people who are creating new ways of living and working.
All of this change can feel overwhelming and cause stress that undermines your potential. Don’t give into the hype! Change will continue to happen. The intention here is to create the positive change, and preferred future, that works best for you and your life. So, get give yourself permission to pursue your desired future!
WIN with Action!
Giving yourself permission to pursue your dream future is not about striving, working hard or struggling to make it happen. It is about the freedom to make decisions that work best for you. This exercise is about exploring how you personally WIN, and by WIN I mean let the process feel —
W = Wild = Free, Fulfilling and Fun!
You have the freedom to choose how to spend your life. Put your ego, external validation and the thoughts of others aside so you can be totally free and honest with yourself. Let your transformation be guided by self-honesty, personal fulfillment joy and fun!
I = Inspired = Explore with Energy and Excitement!
Anytime is a great time to explore new possibilities, so pursue your desired future in a way that gives you energy and feels exciting! If you are feeling a bit stuck, start asking yourself some questions designed to increase your self-awareness:
Where does your energy naturally flow?
What saps your energy?
What do you want to let go of doing, feeling or thinking?
What have you always wanted to do but have not yet tried?
This should be a process of experimenting and exploring. Remember, your true intentions will naturally lead to inspired actions.
N = Natural= Totally You.
Have you ever tried on a piece of clothing, looked in the mirror and thought, “Wow! This looks amazing!” It fit perfectly and the color made your face light up naturally. That is what the “N” in WIN should feel and be like. Write, do and explore what feels totally and completely like you. What comes to you without thinking about it? What have you been covering up or avoiding that is begging to be set free? What comes to you naturally — without effort or striving? What makes you feel alive and excited — taps into your intuition (that inner wisdom we all possess) and aligns with your soul?
It’s Time to WIN!
Download and complete the Permission Slip below. Take the time to give yourself permission to consciously create your future and experience your life by taking big leaps or bold, baby steps. Do whatever you need to do to give yourself permission to WIN and pursue your desired future!
Use extra Permission Slips if you need them. After you finish giving yourself permission to take consciously create your future by intentionally taking action, share your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below! What steps did you decide to take? How did it feel? Whatever you want to share is absolutely welcome!
I look forward to hearing what you gave yourself permission to do, feel and experience to make your desired future a reality!
Happiness can be a grand challenge for all of us, especially in an culture where ageism is very real.
According to Dictionary.com ageism is a noun meaning:
discrimination against persons of a certain age group.
a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment.
I spoke about hope and happiness at the 2015 Rural Futures Conference, and I used Project Have Hope as a reference to illustrate my point. In Uganda, women of all ages are making beautiful pieces of jewelry out of paper. I found the necklace I am wearing in the photo when visiting the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, TN. These fantastic women are putting their entrepreneurial skills to work! Not only are there actions empowering women in the present, they are fostering success for future generations. They are empowering themselves and their families. The women in Uganda are leaders.
Project Have Hope was started by another female leader, Karen Sparacio, who is an entrepreneurial photojournalist. Karen decided to give back by taking action. You can find out more about Karen and her work by visiting photosbykisp.com.
Do I think agesim is real? Yes. Do I think we can do something about it? Absolutely! Did I pause before posting the page out of the conference proceedings? Yes. Why? Because it is real, and I can visibly see that I am getting older. It’s not an easy thing, especially in a culture that values youth and devalues age. But, I also know that I need to stay positive, practice gratitude and keep moving! I have learned a lot through the years, including the fact that it takes a village to do so many things, ranging from raising children to growing businesses and communities. At the Rural Futures Institute, we are committed to changing the rural conversation to one of challenge to one of opportunity. We also want to connect people and communities to opportunities! This conversation must include women of all ages, including those that are older than 40.
Happiness ignites innovation. Check out the Project Have Hope video below and then think about the challenges you typically hear about aging. Look the extraordinary attitudes the women in the Acholi Quarter of Uganda have and how much action they are taking because they have hope.
We just celebrated the 4th of July in the United States, which serves as a reminder that we are free to choose our attitudes and actions. You are free to decide how you live your life at any age and any stage. So, let me know. What inspired, hopeful actions are you taking?
Status Update: I will be on from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM today, and Clint will be taking callers!
In addition to the topics I listed in the original blog post below, we will be discussing the 3 Mega-Trends I recently wrote about and presented on: 1) The Rise of the #GigEconomy, 2) Living with Purpose and Meaning and the 3) Decentralized Global Marketplace.
Plan on calling in with your questions!
Looking forward to hearing from you all!
I am counting down the hours to my interview with Clint Bellows this afternoon on 1110 KFAB (www.kfab.com). I will be in the studio at 2:30 PM.
Our conversation will focus on creating your desired future in the current economy. We will touch on the power of your beliefs and talk about how your brain impacts finances, the future and of course fun!
Let me know if you have any questions you want me to answer on the air. Clint talked about taking live calls. I would love to hear from you if he opens the phone lines!
It’s the perfect day for writing. The snow is falling and the new year is full of positive energy and gratitude!
If you are contemplating your resolutions or goals for 2014, my updated SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals Coaching Guide may be of use. It is designed to help get you started or to help you refine what you may have already established.
Intentions influence our actions and behaviors. If intentions are established with awareness, truth, and meaning, they help us experience a life filled with passion and personal fulfillment. Lack of understanding around our true intentions often causes frustration and confusion, which is one reason people oftentimes do not achieve their goals. Many goals are written; however, they are not established with honest intent. It’s time to get brutally honest about your true intentions so you can achieve authentic goals.
Intentions have the power to strengthen your Inner Leader and help you move forward in a meaningful way as long as they represent what you truly want to accomplish and experience. Honest intentions, based on personal fulfillment and purpose, can also keep you motivated and focused while measuring progress and celebrating success.
What we truly intend will happen, so I use this coaching guide to encourage my clients to create SMARTER Intention Statements that support their personal vision. So, what exactly are SMARTER Intentions? They are statements designed to help you achieve your vision while holding your accountable and having some fun along the way because they are Super Cool, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound, Evolved, and Rewarded.
The SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals coaching guide can easily be downloaded via the web by going to the University of Nebraska Extension Kimmel Education and Research Center Digital Commons site. Simply click on: SMARTER Intentions and Authentic Goals.
Go Wild with your SMARTER Intentions and have a VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I am writing this post with only a few hours left in 2013. My daughter just asked, “What does New Year’s mean?”
For my family, New Year’s Eve is a time for fun, reflection and anticipation. We started the day by celebrating at the zoo, which was fun. Now, it is time to reflect on 2013 by showing gratitude about the opportunity to be together as a family while giving thanks for our many blessings. Then, we need to get excited about welcoming 2014!
The new year presents the perfect opportunity to teach kids about setting their own goals and intentions. As a parent, I love the challenge and opportunity of teachable moments related to helping my kids find meaning in their lives while taking risks to pursue their dreams.
I usually start by asking myself and my family a few coaching questions focused on helping all of us realize the great times we shared as we approach the end of yet another amazing year:
What do you have to celebrate? What goals did you reach? What adventures did you take? What are your favorite memories? What did you like doing?
As we count down the hours, I have to ask myself and everyone reading this:
What do you want your life to look like in 2014?
My husband and I already co-created a list of intentions for 2014. We need to refine them a bit and work with the kids to do the same. I will post a coaching tool focused on setting true intentions (and living your life in full color) on AskDrConnie.com and KimmelTV.org tomorrow.
Strengthen your Inner Leader by investing time and resources in your self-confidence. There are a number of confidence building tools; however, a quick reference is always helpful. Based on my research and experience, I have developed Dr. Connie’s Top 10 Confidence Boosters:
1.Cherish Your Freedom
Realize that you alone control your destiny. You have the freedom to decide how to live your life every single day.
2.Invest in Self-Care
Care for yourself so you are better able to maximize your energy and talents. Self-care is the foundation for living a life of strength and confidence. Take time to relax and do things you enjoy. Get out into nature. Exercise daily and eat for health and energy to strengthen your body, mind, spirit and confidence.
3.Be Honest with Yourself
Only you know what you truly desire. Be honest about want, make a plan, and go for it!
4.Program the Subconscious Mind
The subconscious mind is a powerful tool. It produces automatic responses and has the ability to generate ideas, create solutions and make us aware of amazing opportunities! Train your subconscious to help you develop a positive, open mind. Deliberate repetition of thoughts, words, phrases and images can help program your subconscious.
5.Take Purposeful, Inspired Action Daily
What you do every day matters. Life is the accumulation of individual days, so don’t waste even one! Purposeful daily action is essential to sustainable, personal innovation.
6.Create Your Personal Confidence Team
Surround yourself with people you know, admire, respect, appreciate, like, and trust. Make sure the people on your team believe in you. You must also believe in them. Surround yourself only with the best, so be honest and selective!
7.Measure and Monitor Your Progress
Take time to reflect upon and measure your success. Include both numbers and creative ways to measure success like thoughts, feelings, new experiences, and ideas. Also, monitor the good things that happen as a result of taking inspired actions. Learn from both positive and negative experiences and change course when needed.
8.Celebrate Your Success
Celebrating success will keep you motivated while growing your confidence. Celebrate both the small and big wins. Share your victories with others.
Fun is absolutely invaluable. It is foundational to creativity and innovation and is a wonderful stress reliever and relationship builder. Fun also keeps us young and is the fountain of life!
10. Go Wild!
Live BOLDLY and enjoy the ride. Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. Live life on your terms. Take inspired action with intention, awareness, purpose, passion, and confidence!
Memorial Weekend is a great opportunity to remember and celebrate those who have gone before us. Their lives and experiences have helped shape the world in so many different ways. I think of my mom, who raised six kids and who always reminded us to cherish and protect our freedom. She loved her country and taught all of us to do the same. I miss hearing her talk about the importance of living in a free country. The information and advice she shared with me is something I am passing onto my children, her grandkids-the next generation.
I want to wrap up the Gift of Freedom series with a Coaching Corner designed to give you something to think about in relation to Memorial Weekend:
1. How much do you appreciate your freedom?
2. How do you demonstrate your appreciation?
I am also challenging you to take inspired action. Remember those you have lost and take time to give back to those who have served and their families. Give the military families and veterans in your life a token of your appreciation. Both big and small gestures go a long way. Get creative and do something you think they would appreciate.
Also, really think about the fact that you are responsible for your actions and have the freedom to create your own destiny. My parting words for today are a quote from Inez Milholland, a Suffragist in 1909:
“I am prepared to sacrifice every so-called privilege I possess in order to have a few rights.”
A big thank you to all who have served and all those still serving as well as their families. We owe you all a great debt of gratitude.
Please call or email me, Connie Reimers-Hild, at the University of Nebraska Kimmel Education and Research Center (402) 873-3166 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in coaching, training or resources in the areas of leadership and innovation.
The Kimmel team has a number of other university resources too! Visit kimmel.unl.edu for the more information on how UNL Extension can help you plant your personal seeds of success and innovation!